Sunday, September 24, 2006
I know it was a long time since my last post, but I am very busy those days.
I closed my own clinic because of the security situation in the neighborhood, and I am changing the place to more secure and safer one, in addition the new place is close to my house and needs no transportation, and therefore no extra gasoline expenses.
I am in the process of rebuild the place to make it more suitable for clinic. I promise you to post again when get enough time.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
About 10 AM we hear a loud sound of explosion, but we can check each other by cellphone we didn't know where the explosion.
On returning home we have to cross the bridge to the other side of the city, we did so, but ofter that we face a block in all the roads leading home.
I became an expert in the side ways and detours, but all the efforts failed to take us home. We took our lunch in an popular restaurant and then spend the time in one of my brothers house. The problem was with my older daughter who is still breast feed her second baby Mo'men, three months old Aya's brother.
Later and before the dark we managed to go home.
The reason for this problem is in the following report.
15 August 2006 via INA
- A major explosion in Mosul this morning just before noon. This was the result of a car bomb in a trailer driven by a suicide bomber before noon today targeting the headquarters of the Kurdish National Union in Al-Ta'meem district east of Mosul. This resulted in heavy casualties with some 20 to 30 people injured in addition to a large number of dead. The severity of the explosion, which hit a nearby petrol station, led to the collapse of several nearby buildings in the neighborhood, hence the large numbers of bodies, many are still under the rubble. At least 17 cars were burnt whilst queuing at the petrol station, queues now are a normal occurrence given the fuel crisis which has been biting hard over the last few months in Mosul .
Next day I went to the hospital as usual, but this time all the five bridges of Mosul were closed in front of vehicles, so we have to cross the bridge on feet, it was very hot day and the distance was to long but we did it.
Again there was a reason for that and it is in the following report.
16 August 2006
- Several parts of the right bank of Mosul witnessed arm confrontation between gunmen and the police this morning. The clashes lasted about 2 hours in Al-Amel, Mosul Al-Jadida, Souq Al-Ghanem and other areas. A source in Nineveh police constabulary stated that the local authority closed the 5 bridges across Tigris in Mosul as a precaution. The police was able to kill 5 gunmen and arrest 6 others in addition to destroying several of the gunmen cars and confescating large amount of arms and ammunitions.
- In Al-Nabi Younis (Profit Jona) district, left bank of Mosul, an explosive device went off targeting an American Convoy. The area was soon surrounded by US forces sealing the area, hence the inability to know the number of causalities and the amount of damage caused.
Today afternoon A Doctor whose clinic are opposite of mine, are kidnapped in the middle of the day from his clinic. The kidnapper put him in the rear luggage box of the car and run a way, fortunately the door open accidentally while the car was very fast, he jump from the car and injured his head and may be some of his ribs.
Those are not a typical days of our life, but samples of what the Americans Freedom and Democracy brought to us.
Monday, August 07, 2006
By Oren Ben-Dor
(Israeli citizen teaches the philosophy of law and political philosophy at University of Southampton)
Published: 26 July 2006
As its citizens are being killed, Israel is, yet again, inflicting death and destruction on Lebanon. It tries to portray this horror as necessary for its self-defense. Indeed, the casual observer might regard the rocket attacks on Israeli cities such as Haifa and my own home town, Maharaja, as justifying this claim.
While states should defend their citizens, states which fail this duty should be questioned and, if necessary, reconfigured. Israel is a state which, instead of defending its citizens, puts all of them, Jews as well as non-Jews, in danger.
What exactly is being defended by the violence in Gaza and Lebanon? Is it the citizens of Israel or the nature of the Israeli state? I suggest the latter. Israel's statehood is based on an unjust ideology which causes indignity and suffering for those who are classified as non-Jewish by either a religious or ethnic test. To hide this primordial immorality, Israel fosters an image of victimhood. Provoking violence, consciously or unconsciously, against which one must defend oneself is a key feature of the victim-mentality. By perpetuating such a tragic cycle, Israel is a terrorist state like no other.
Many who wish to hide the immorality of the Israeli state do so by restricting attention to the horrors of the post-1967 occupation and talking about a two-state solution, since endorsing a Palestinian state implicitly endorses the ideology behind a Jewish one.
The very creation of Israel required an act of terror. In 1948, most of the non-Jewish indigenous people were ethnically cleansed from the part of Palestine which became Israel. This action was carefully planned. Without it, no state with a Jewish majority and character would have been possible.
Since 1948, the "Israeli Arabs", those Palestinians who avoided expulsion, have suffered continuous discrimination. Indeed, many have been internally displaced, ostensibly for "security reasons", but really to acquire their lands for Jews.
Surely Holocaust memory and Jewish longing for Eretz Israel would not be sufficient to justify ethnic cleansing and ethnocracy? To avoid the
destabilization that would result from ethical inquiry, the Israeli state must hide the core problem, by nourishing a victim mentality among Israeli Jews.
To sustain that mentality and to preserve an impression of victimhood among outsiders, Israel must breed conditions for violence. Whenever prospects of violence against it subside, Israel must do its utmost to regenerate them: the myth that it is a peace-seeking victim which has "no partner for peace" is a key panel in the screen with which Israel hides its primordial and continuing immorality.
Israel's successful campaign to silence criticism of its initial and continuing dispossession of the indigenous Palestinians leaves the latter no option but to resort to violent resistance. In the wake of electing Hamas - the only party which, in the eyes of Palestinians, has not yet given up their cause - the Palestinian population of Gaza and the West Bank were subjected to an Israeli campaign of starvation, humiliation and violence.
The insincere "withdrawal" from Gaza, and the subsequent blockade, ensured a chronicle of violence which, so far, includes Palestinian firing of Kasem rockets, the capture of an Israeli soldier and the Israeli near re-occupation of Gaza. What we witness is more hatred, more violence from Palestinians, more humiliation and collective punishments from Israelis - all useful reinforcement for the Israeli victim mentality and for the sacred cow status of Israeli statehood.
The truth is that there never could have been a partition of Palestine by ethically acceptable means. Israel was created through terror and it needs terror to cover-up its core immorality. Whenever there is a glimmer of stability, the state orders a targeted assassination, such as that in Sidon, which preceded the current Lebanon crisis, knowing well that this brings not security but more violence. Israel's unilateralism and the cycle of violence nourish one another.
Amidst the violence and despite the conventional discourse which hides the root of this violence, actuality calls upon us to think. The more we silence its voice, the more violently actuality is sure to speak.
In Hebrew, the word "elem" (a stunned silence resulting from oppression or shock) is etymologically linked to the word "almut" (violence). Silence about the immoral core of Israeli statehood makes us all complicit in breeding the terrorism that threatens a catastrophe which could tear the world apart.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I read this article in the Internet, I found it deserve to be read by other as it throw some light on the darkness of the mind of some people.
Morality is not on our side
By Ze'ev Maoz
There's practically a holy consensus right now that the war in the
North is a just war and that morality is on our side. The bitter truth
must be said: this holy consensus is based on short-range selective
memory, an introverted worldview, and double standards.
This war is not a just war. Israel is using excessive force without
distinguishing between civilian population and enemy, whose sole
purpose is extortion. That is not to say that morality and justice are
on Hezbollah's side. Most certainly not. But the fact that Hezbollah
"started it" when it kidnapped soldiers from across an international
border does not even begin to tilt the scales of justice toward our
Let's start with a few facts. We invaded a sovereign state, and
occupied its capital in 1982. In the process of this occupation, we
dropped several tons of bombs from the air, ground and sea, while
wounding and killing thousands of civilians. Approximately 14,000
civilians were killed between June and September of 1982, according to
a conservative estimate. The majority of these civilians had nothing
to do with the PLO, which provided the official pretext for the war.
In Operations Accountability and Grapes of Wrath, we caused the mass
flight of about 500,000 refugees from southern Lebanon on each
occasion. There are no exact data on the number of casualties in these
operations, but one can recall that in Operation Grapes of Wrath, we
bombed a shelter in the village of Kafr Kana which killed 103
civilians. The bombing may have been accidental, but that did not make
the operation any more moral.
On July 28, 1989, we kidnapped Sheikh Obeid, and on May 12, 1994, we
kidnapped Mustafa Dirani, who had captured Ron Arad. Israel held these
two people and another 20-odd Lebanese detainees without trial, as
"negotiating chips." That which is permissible to us is, of course,
forbidden to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah crossed a border that is recognized by the international
community. That is true. What we are forgetting is that ever since our
withdrawal from Lebanon, the Israel Air Force has conducted
photo-surveillance sorties on a daily basis in Lebanese airspace.
While these flights caused no casualties, border violations are border
violations. Here too, morality is not on our side.
So much for the history of morality. Now, let's consider current
affairs. What exactly is the difference between launching Katyushas
into civilian population centers in Israel and the Israel Air Force
bombing population centers in south Beirut, Tyre, Sidon and Tripoli?
The IDF has fired thousands of shells into south Lebanon villages,
alleging that Hezbollah men are concealed among the civilian
population. Approximately 25 Israeli civilians have been killed as a
result of Katyusha missiles to date. The number of dead in Lebanon,
the vast majority comprised of civilians who have nothing to do with
Hezbollah, is more than 300.
Worse yet, bombing infrastructure targets such as power stations,
bridges and other civil facilities turns the entire Lebanese civilian
population into a victim and hostage, even if we are not physically
harming civilians. The use of bombings to achieve a diplomatic goal -
namely, coercing the Lebanese government into implementing UN Security
Council Resolution 1559 - is an attempt at political blackmail, and no
less than the kidnapping of IDF soldiers by Hezbollah is the aim of
bringing about a prisoner exchange.
There is a propaganda aspect to this war, and it involves a
competition as to who is more miserable. Each side tries to persuade
the world that it is more miserable. As in every propaganda campaign,
the use of information is selective, distorted and self-righteous. If
we want to base our information (or shall we call it propaganda?)
policy on the assumption that the international environment is going
to buy the dubious merchandise that we are selling, be it out of
ignorance or hypocrisy, then fine. But in terms of our own national
soul searching, we owe ourselves to confront the bitter truth - maybe
we will win this conflict on the military field, maybe we will make
some diplomatic gains, but on the moral plane, we have no advantage,
and we have no special status.
The writer is a professor of political science at Tel Aviv university.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
The British Arab Medical Association (BAMA), a society for Arab Doctors
and allied professionals in the UK, express their utter condemnation of
the Israeli attacks against Lebanon, and abhor the continuous
destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure and the bombardment of its
We extend our heartfelt support to those hundreds of families who have
lost their loved ones, or been made homeless, through this mindless saga
The social impact of the devastation of whole neighbourhoods, schools
and the dislocation of communities is of great concern to us, and we
call upon the governments of all nations to demand a halt to Israeli
aggression to put an end to this tragedy.
The Middle Eastern governments should bear their share of responsibility
in ensuring stability and provide comprehensive logistic support to
achieve peace for Lebanon, Iraq and the region in general.
BAMA believes that the region needs a genuine pragmatic initiative to
stop the region from sliding further back into a social and political
wilderness - Iraq and Sudan were the tragedy of yesterday, sadly it
seems Lebanon's turn today, who is next?
Lebanon presents us all with a social and humanitarian tragedy, as much
as a political dilemma. It is clearly a human rights issue, where
population are denied their basic human rights by such relentless aerial
bombardment of civilian districts.
It is imperative that western governments give outright condemnation of
the actions of Israel's government and give moral and economic support
for Lebanon to recover from this wholesale destruction.
President of BAMA and Council members
By President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Prime Minister Olmert
Dr. Doug Rokke, PhD.
former Director, U.S. Army Depleted Uranium project
July 26, 2006
The delivery of at least 100 GBU 28 bunker busters bombs containing depleted uranium warheads by the United States to Israel for use against targets in Lebanon will result in additional radioactive and chemical toxic contamination with consequent adverse health and environmental effects throughout the middle east. Israeli tank gunners are also using depleted uranium tank rounds as photographs verify.
Today, U.S., British, and now Israeli military personnel are using illegal uranium munitions- America's and England's own "dirty bombs" while U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, and British Ministry of Defence officials deny that there are any adverse health and environmental effects as a consequence of the manufacture, testing, and/or use of uranium munitions to avoid liability for the willful and illegal dispersal of a radioactive toxic material - depleted uranium.
The use of uranium weapons is absolutely unacceptable, and a crime against humanity. Consequently the citizens of the world and all governments must force cessation of uranium weapons use. I must demand that Israel now provide medical care to all DU casualties in Lebanon and clean up all DU contamination.
U.S. and British officials have arrogantly refused to comply with their own regulations, orders, and directives that require United States Department of Defense officials to provide prompt and effective medical care to "all" exposed individuals. Reference: Medical Management of Unusual Depleted Uranium Casualties, DOD, Pentagon, 10/14/93, Medical Management of Army personnel Exposed to Depleted Uranium (DU) Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Command 29 April 2004, and section 2-5 of U.S. Army Regulation 700-48. Israeli officials must not do so now.
They also refuse to clean up dispersed radioactive Contamination as required by Army Regulation- AR 700-48: "Management of Equipment Contaminated With Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities" (Headquarters, Department Of The Army, Washington, D.C., September 2002) and U.S. Army Technical Bulletin- TB 9-1300-278: "Guidelines For Safe Response To Handling, Storage, And Transportation Accidents Involving Army Tank Munitions Or Armor Which Contain Depleted Uranium" (Headquarters, Department Of The Army, Washington, D.C., JULY 1996). Specifically section 2-4 of United States Army Regulation-AR 700-48 dated September 16, 2002 requires that:
(1) "Military personnel "identify, segregate, isolate, secure, and label all RCE" (radiologically contaminated equipment).
(2) "Procedures to minimize the spread of radioactivity will be implemented as soon as possible."
(3) "Radioactive material and waste will not be locally disposed of through burial, submersion, incineration, destruction in place, or abandonment" and
(4) "All equipment, to include captured or combat RCE, will be surveyed, packaged, retrograded, decontaminated and released IAW Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, DA PAM 700-48" (Note: Maximum exposure limits are specified in Appendix F).
The previous and current use of uranium weapons, the release of radioactive components in destroyed U.S. and foreign military equipment, and releases of industrial, medical, research facility radioactive materials have resulted in unacceptable exposures. Therefore, decontamination must be completed as required by U.S. Army Regulation 700-48 and should include releases of all radioactive materials resulting from military operations.
The extent of adverse health and environmental effects of uranium weapons contamination is not limited to combat zones but includes facilities and sites where uranium weapons were manufactured or tested including Vieques; Puerto Rico; Colonie, New York; Concord, MA; Jefferson Proving Grounds, Indiana; and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Therefore medical care must be provided by the United States Department of Defense officials to all individuals affected by the manufacturing, testing, and/or use of uranium munitions. Thorough environmental remediation also must be completed without further delay.
I am amazed that fifteen years after was I asked to clean up the initial DU mess from Gulf War 1 and over ten years since I finished the depleted uranium project that United States Department of Defense officials and others still attempt to justify uranium munitions use while ignoring mandatory requirements. I am dismayed that Department of Defense and Department of Energy officials and representatives continue personal attacks aimed to silence or discredit those of us who are demanding that medical care be provided to all DU casualties and that environmental remediation is completed in compliance with U.S. Army Regulation 700-48. But beyond the ignored mandatory actions the willful dispersal of tons of solid radioactive and chemically toxic waste in the form of uranium munitions is illegal (http://www.traprockpeace.org/karen_parker_du_illegality.pdf) and just does not even pass the common sense test and according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS, is a dirty bomb. DHS issued "dirty bomb" response guidelines, http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html
, on January 3, 2006 for incidents within the United States but ignore DOD use of uranium weapons and existing DOD regulations. These guidelines specifically state that: "Characteristics of RDD and IND Incidents: A radiological incident is defined as an event or series of events, deliberate or accidental, leading to the release, or potential release, into the environment of radioactive material in sufficient quantity to warrant consideration of protective actions. Use of an RDD or IND is an act of terror that produces a radiological incident." Thus the use of uranium munitions is "an act or terror" as defined by DHS. Finally continued compliance with the infamous March 1991 Los Alamos Memorandum that was issued to ensure continued use of uranium munitions can not be justified.
In conclusion: the President of the United States- George W. Bush, the Prime Minister of Great Britain-Tony Blair, and the Prime Minister of Israel Olmert must acknowledge and accept responsibility for willful use of illegal uranium munitions- their own "dirty bombs"- resulting in adverse health and environmental effects.
President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Prime Minister Olmert should order:
1. medical care for all casualties,
2. thorough environmental remediation,
3. immediate cessation of retaliation against all of us who demand compliance with medical care and environmental remediation requirements,
4. and stop the already illegal the use (UN finding) of depleted uranium munitions.
References- these references are copies the actual regulations and orders and other pertinent official documents:
Photo by David Silverman (Getty Images ) Image 71440735 http://editorial.gettyimages.com
Friday, July 21, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
US TROOPS IN NEW WAR CRIME SCANDAL.
Five American soldiers from the 502nd Infantry Regiment are being investigated for raping an Iraqi woman and then murdering her and her family members in the city of Mahmoudiya south of Baghdad, this past March. U.S. officials say that this appears to be a premeditated crime.
*A U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity says that the soldiers had not been attacked by insurgents and that they studied the family for a week before carrying out the attack. The soldiers apparently entered the home, raped the woman, set fire to her body and then killed three other family members, one of the victims was a small child. Please take a moment to send our prewritten letter to your elected officials asking them to support the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Remind your elected officials that their support for the war also translates into support for human right violations and war crimes against Iraqi civilians—which is what we are now claiming we removed Saddam Hussein from power for. Tell your elected officials that you are morally outraged by the crimes being perpetrated against Iraqi civilians and that you believe security at home will be compromised as long as we continue to occupy Iraq. To read more:
U.S. troops accused of killing Iraq family
SPECIAL REPORT: Haditha, My Lai and the Media
U.S. losing terror war because of Iraq, poll says
Citizens for Fair Legislation
Saturday, June 24, 2006
100 workers kidnapped together during their way home after they finished their work, next day at the same place and the same time and from the same company 150 workers kidnapped !!!
I wonder, who have such capability of kidnapping more than 200 persons?, where they put them? And how they hide them? What they feed them? And how?
I can't think of who did it, unless he is as powerful as a government or work for the government. But why the government kidnapped it's own workers!?
Other strange thing that a General Director in the Ministry of Health kidnapped inside the Ministry building!!, isn't that suspicious?
A prof. from the University of Mosul went for some business to the Ministry of Intern. He shot dead at the front door of the ministry when he is in his way out!!
I will not mentions the number of bodies discovered every day at the streets of the main cities. Or the organized killing of the Doctors, the Scientists and the University lecturers.
I don't want to mention the explosions and the bombs targeted the Mosques and the shopping markets of both Sunnis and Sheeis.
All these and more happened at the hearing and the sight of the American troops which should be responsible for security in this occupied country.
YOU American if you can't control the security situation, leave now and let us solve our problems in our own way.
It will never be worse than the current situation.
Three years of occupation and despite the daily statements of the US official about the progress in the security, the condition progress from bad to worse.
Every day is worse than the previous.
Can any body imagine how the US super power together with the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi police and the allied forces from so many sources are all failed to control the chaos in this country.
This country was controlled in peace and security by the power of single Dictator.
Don't believe that this dictator killed people in his 35 years of control more than what was killed in 3 years of freedom and democracy under the US controls.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Every day we left hotel about 7:30 am to reach the place before 8:00 am. The workstation started at 8:00 am till 5:30 pm with a break for the lunch at about 12:00 am. when we left the company we have to call for the taxi company to take us to the hotel, usually we reached the hotel about 6:00 pm or later. Surprisingly all the shops in the city closed at 7:00 pm except the restaurants.
After 7:00 pm we have only the park of the Chateau to go and enjoy the beautiful gardens and the fresh air. Even the park closed at 9:00 pm. when we go to our hotel for the diner which last at least two hours, and then went to sleep.
At the first weekend we visited the Chateau from inside, It is unbelievably wonderful.
I will show you some pictures of it.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
But this feeling gradually disappeared when we see the beauty of this city. It is small city with narrow streets and old buildings, but it's spirit was so wonderful that make any body feel as he is in another world.
Our hotel was few minutes from the famous palace of Versailles, they called it chateau De Versailles.
This is a picture of the Chateau De Versailles showing the left wing only, my camera is so small and I cant put it all in one picture and show the details at the same time.
The Chateau have a fantastic garden, with plenty of statues scattered here and there, they definitely represent some historical tales, but we don't know those tales, we just enjoy our selves with the calm and beauty of the park.
This is a view of very small part of that magnificent park
A statue in the middle of a lake
I have a lot of pictures at the park and inside the palace.
I will try to show them to you in the next posts.
Friday, June 09, 2006
After we took a rest we gathered in the lobby of the hotel, Ahmad invite us for a dinner in one of the restaurant in the hotel, it was Thailand restaurant, serve special Asian food, mainly sea food. For the first time in my life I ate Shrimp and other Sea food, for the truth some of it was very delicious. we went to sleep at 12:00 pm to be ready for the next trip to Paris at 5:00 am.
We were ready at time, Ahmad took us to the airport, but unfortunately, he couldn't get the Visa to accompany us to Paris.
He gave us the tickets, the reservation in the Hotel in France and the phone number of the responsible person in Paris who suppose to meet us at the airport.
The direction of the plane was toward the west, so we gain two hour, the time difference between Iraq and France. The trip last 4.5 hours.
We reached Paris, there were a heavy rain in Paris at that time, the airport was over crowded. but we didn't found any body in the airport from the company, we keep looking for any sign or any thing to know if there is any one to take us to our hotel. All of us were in Paris for the first time, no one of us speak french, which was a big problem their.
After an hour or so of fruit less waiting, we called the number Ahmad gave us, when we informed that no body came to meet us because it was Sunday and it is weekend, but we get confirmation that the hotel reservation is OK, and we have to take taxis to the hotel by ourselves, and cars will be waiting for us next morning to take us to the company.
We took 3 taxis, gave the address to the drivers, they took us to our hotel which was in the city of Versailles. it take about an hour to reach the hotel in that rainy day.
We are now in France, Versailles is one of the most beautiful city I have ever seen.
to be continue
Sunday, June 04, 2006
One of these Cameras was for Mosul Nuclear Medicine.
The Cameras we bought are up to date and need special skills and knowledges to operate it, and to interprete the results.
They chose two doctors from Mosul to train on the usage of this Camera in the country where it has been build (France), I was one of those two doctors.
April 30/2006 was the date in which we suppose to take the plane to Paris. the company correspondence in Iraq supposed to take care of the visa and the plane reservation. He took our passport for this purposes.
He sent me an e mail to be in Baghdad in a well known place where other doctors from Baghdad are gathered, to take special cars to take us to the airport. our date was at 9:00 am on 4/30/2006. our plane take of at 3:30 pm.
The extra time was to overcome any difficulties or problems in the road to the airport.
As you may know, the road from Mosul to Baghdad is not save, and not always easy to reach Baghdad. so we decided to go to Baghdad one day in advance just in case there is any problem in the road.
We arrange a taxi with a professional driver to pick us at 6:00 am just after the end of the curfew.
At 6:30 we were in the taxi ready to go, but all the bridges of the city were closed for no clear reason.
We stayed in the car waiting for the bridge to open till 11:00 am where they allow the cars to cross the bridge, but one at a time, we cross the bridge and so we pass the first obstacle, as we knew later the bridges closed again few minutes later for the rest of the day.
At the city of Baiji, mid way to Baghdad there was an explosion and the main street was closed, we forced to take a detour in an unpaved side way, after we left Baiji by few tens of kilometers there was a three American vehicle closing the high-way and all the car are forced to drive in the farms where there is no distinct way, just find a way to drive your car through and go on. It take about 45 minute in such a miserable sandy way.
After that the road to Baghdad was open with no problem except when we met an American high-way patrol, they move very slowly and don't allow any car to pass them, cars wait till they took an exit or change their way to move in their ordinary speed. We reached Baghdad about 6:00 PM. It was a 12 hours trip,usually take only 4 hours.
The next day we were all ready at the specified place , but a little problem arise, our passports are still in the French embassy for the Visas, the company correspondence suppose to pick the visa in the morning and meet us at 9:00 am. but he didn't show up. at 11:00 am we get him at his mobile phone, he told us that there were fire-shoot at the vicinity of the embassy and the road to the embassy is closed and he couldn't reach it, at 1:00 pm he call us saying he reached the embassy and waiting there for the passports and Visas. at 2:00 pm he arrived with the Taxis to take us to the airport.
We reached the Airport safely and completed the necessary arrangement and took our seats in the plane just at time.
Thanks God we are now in our way to Paris.
To be continued
I am back. I am writing from mosul now after a 33 day out,in France.
It was a an afficial bussiness visit, but there were a lot of fun and social activities.
I am preparing my self for a new posts describing my impression about what I saw there.
It is difficult to describe all the beuty and charm of France in few words, but I will try.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I will be out of Iraq for official bussiness for one month (May).
During this month I don't know if I could find time for further posting or for moderation of comments.
Don't be worry about me, I will be back at the beginning of June. Till then, good bye, and have a good time
Sunday, April 23, 2006
There were voting for these positions!, although they announce in advance the names!.
The end result end with a clear sectarian partitioning of the posts!
The head of the parliament is Sunni Arab with two deputies, one Kurd and the other Sheii Arab!.
The president, a Kurd with two deputies, one Sunni Arab and the other Sheii Arab!
The prime minister is A Sheii Arab, he is; Nory Kamil Al-Ali, "AKA Jawad Al-Maliky"
He is from the same party and the same list as the previous PM Al-Jaafari.
He promised the parliament and the Iraqis that he will form the new government depend on qualification not on sectarian factors, that sound very good for me, and for all the Iraqis also, but we look foreward to see it on the ground in the form of acts not just a nonsense promises that stay as "ink on paper" as the well known Arabic proverb said.
All what we can do today is just wait and see, it is only 30 days till the new government will announce and every thing will be as clear as the Sun.
Monday, April 17, 2006
by Susu Jeffrey
"My name is John Marshall. I was exposed to DU (depleted uranium). I am 100 percent disabled and I am pissed-off. In fact, I was advised by a couple of my counselors not to do this [interview] because I'm so angry with the government -at the VA system, at the way I'm treated and other veterans are treated. It's very impersonal. They don't give you any time. They ask us to go fight their wars, do the dirty work and then they can't take care of you."
Most people don't believe the U.S. has been poisoning its own troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or they've heard about uranium "tipped" bombs-like fingernail polish painted on the outside of a shell casing. On the contrary, these are solid uranium core projectiles.
"I got a thank you (letter) from some lieutenant colonel. 'Thank you for serving our country. We express our deepest gratitude but we believe you were one of these men who were exposed to depleted uranium either through shrapnel or inhalation of dust.'
"I'm 35, I take 17 medications, I've had cancer-lymphatic cancer, Hodgkin's disease-Lennert's lymphoma was the initial diagnosis-immune system."
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
It deserve reading.
Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools
THE MISSION WAS INDEED ACCCOMPLISHED
by Greg Palast
for The Guardian
20 March 2006
Get off it. All the carping, belly-aching and complaining about George Bush's incompetence in Iraq, from both the Left and now the Right, is just dead wrong.
On the third anniversary of the tanks rolling over Iraq's border, most of the 59 million Homer Simpsons who voted for Bush are beginning to doubt if his mission was accomplished.
But don't kid yourself -- Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you've forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher's original announcement, three years ago, launching of what he called, "Operation Iraqi Liberation." O.I.L.
How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House change it to "OIF" -- Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn't sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq's OIF.
"It's about oil," Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA's top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam's former oil minister to finalize the plans for "liberating" Iraq's oil industry. In London, Bush's emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing
And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn't matter. The key thing is what's inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will "enhance its relationship with OPEC."
Enhance its relationship with OPEC??? How strange: the government of the United States rdering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel which is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for crude.
Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production -- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.
There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil -- not to get MORE of Iraq's oil, but to prevent Iraq producing TOO MUCH of it.
You must keep in mind who paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil -- and their buck-buddies, the Saudis -- don't make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping LESS of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price.
It's Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an "oligopoly" -- a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there's less oil, not more of it. So, every time the "insurgents" blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just LOVE it.
Dick and George didn't want more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I know some of you, no matter what I write, insist that our President and his Veep are on the hunt for more crude so you can cheaply fill your family Hummer; that somehow, these two oil-patch babies are concerned that the price of gas in the USA is bumping up to $3 a gallon.
No so, gentle souls. Three bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a litre in Britain) means colossal profits for Big Oil, and that makes Dick's ticker go pitty-pat with joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five largest oil companies, pulled in $113 billion in profit in 2005 -- compared to a piddly $34 billion in 2002 before Operation Iraqi Liberation. In other
words, it's been a good war for Big Oil.
As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq's occupation oil minister; the conquered nation "enhanced its relationship with OPEC;" and the price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.
In other words, on the third anniversary of invasion, we can say the attack and occupation is, indeed, a Mission Accomplished. However, it wasn't America's mission, nor the Iraqis'. It was an Mission Accomplished for OPEC and Big Oil.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
You should read this and laugh.
Someone Should Tell Bush Why We Went to War
By Scott Galindez
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Wednesday 22 March 2006
After yesterday's presidential news conference, I am beginning to wonder if George W. Bush knows why we went to war with Iraq. He should just come clean and admit that we went to war because Dick, Wolfie, and Rummy told him to.
Three years into the war and the President still can't answer the question of why we went to war in the first place. It is perfectly clear now why he can't meet with Cindy Sheehan. Imagine him saying to Cindy, "after September 11th, we realized killers could destroy innocent life." Hmmmm, we have a president who didn't know that prior to 9/11?
Imagine him telling Cindy that we invaded Iraq because "the Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained...." Someone also needs to tell George that the Taliban probably wanted Saddam out of power too; bin Laden did. Of course he knows the Taliban were in Afghanistan, doesn't he?
When he finally got to Iraq, he rewrote history again. "We worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it" said Bush.
The world didn't agree, that's why there was no vote at the UN authorizing the war. I seem to remember inspectors in Iraq until we warned them that it wouldn't be safe for them to remain. I also want to know what Iraq was supposed to disclose if they had no WMD?
Please, one of you neo-cons, brief the President on the real reason for the war in Iraq, so the next time a reporter asks him a real question he doesn't embarrass us again.
Excerpted from the transcript of yesterday's press conference:
Helen Thomas: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet - your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth - what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil - quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?
The President: I think your premise - in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist - is that - I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect -
Helen Thomas: Everything -
The President: Hold on for a second, please.
Helen Thomas: - everything I've heard -
The President: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We - when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.
Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq - hold on for a second -
Helen Thomas: They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.
The President: Look - excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained -
Helen Thomas: I'm talking about Iraq -
The President: Helen, excuse me. That's where - Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.
I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences -
Helen Thomas: - go to war -
The President: - and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.
Scott Galindez is the Managing Editor of truthout.org.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Precise Collateral Damage .... المحتلون الأمريكان يـَفنون عائلة كاملة مع أطفالهم
This news item is now reported by the Associated Press:
"An unidentified relative mourns over the bodies of children, reportedly killed during a U.S. raid, as they arrive in a hospital in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, March 15, 2006. Eleven people, most of them women and children were killed when a house was bombed during a U.S. raid north of Baghdad early Wednesday, police and relatives said. The U.S. military acknowledged four deaths in the raid that they said netted an insurgent suspect (emphasis added) in the rural Isahaqi area, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the capital. (AP Photo/Bassim Daham)
Iraqis Say U.S. Raid Kills 11 People March 15, 2006
This news item has a picture gallery of this massacre. Can the U.S. military count? or are they in their usual low level mode of 'counting' killed U.S. soldiers, instead of declaring the true figures of dead soldiers?
يـُعرض مع هذا الخبر بالإنكليزية عدة صور للضحايا الأطفال. يقول الجيش الأمريكي بأن عدد الضحايا هو أربعة فقط، بضمنهم "المشتبه" فيه. ألا تستطيع قوات الإحتلال الأمريكية العــدّ بالنظر المـُجرّد الى هذه الصور؟ أم أنها على سجيتها في "التقليل" من العدد المـُعلن لضحايا جنودها الذين يـُقتلون على أيدي المقاومة؟"ـ
The Iraqi version:
"Amer Fiadh, the Councillor of Al-Ishaqi (pronounced Al Is-haqi) District in Salah Al-Din province said that the American forces have executed eleven people belonging to one family, including a six-months old baby and four children who were less than eleven years old.
Fiadh further stated today that these people were executed in front of their home, after having their hands tied behind their back and summarily shot. After their execution, American helicopters then strafed the family's home levelling it to the ground."
The Councillor of Al-Ishaqi District claims that the American forces have executed eleven members of one family (In Arabic) March 15, 2006
ـ" قال عامر الفياض مدير ناحية الاسحاقى فى محافظة صلاح الدين العراقية ان القوات الامريكية اعدمت أحد عشر شخصا من عائلة واحدة من بينهم طفل عمره ستة اشهر واربعة اطفال لا تتجاوز اعمارهم 11 سنة.ـ
وقال الفياض فى تصريح اليوم ان الاشخاص اعدموا امام منزلهم بعد ان اوثقت القوات الامريكية ايديهم واطلقت النار عليهم مضيفا ان المروحيات الامريكية قصفت بيت العائلة بعد عملية الاعدام ودمرته تدميرا كاملا ."ـ
مدير ناحية الاسحاقي يقول ان القوات الامريكية اعدمت 11 شخصا من عائلة واحدة
ـ15 آذار، 2006
Iraqis Say U.S. Raid Kills 11 People
By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press WritersWed Mar 15, 6:30 PM ET
A U.S. raid north of the capital Wednesday killed 11 people — most of them women and children, said police and relatives of the victims. The American military confirmed the attack but said only four people died — a man, two women and a child.
Police Capt. Laith Mohammed said the attack near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, involved U.S. warplanes and armor that flattened a house in the village of Isahaqi.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene said the roof of the house had collapsed, three cars were destroyed and two cows were killed.
The 11 victims were wrapped in blankets and driven in three pickup trucks to the Tikrit General Hospital, about 45 miles to the north, relatives said.
AP photographs showed the bodies of two men, five children and four other covered figures arriving at the hospital accompanied by grief-stricken relatives. The victims were covered in dust with bits of rubble tangled in their hair.
The U.S. military said the target of the raid was a man suspected of supporting foreign fighters of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror network, and he was captured.
"Troops were engaged by enemy fire as they approached the building," said Tech. Sgt. Stacy Simon, a military spokeswoman. "Coalition forces returned fire utilizing both air and ground assets."
Riyadh Majid, who identified himself as the nephew of Faez Khalaf, the head of the household who was killed, told AP at the hospital that U.S. forces landed in helicopters and raided the home early Wednesday.
Khalaf's brother, Ahmed, said nine of the victims were family members who lived at the house and two were visitors.
"The dead family was not part of the resistance, they were women and children," he said. "The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death."
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
It contains very important facts. It may shed more light on those who are benifited from the Iraqi civil war.
The Sadr city massacre ... A Black Operation by the American Intelligence?
مجزرة مدينة الصدر .... هل هي من عمليات فرق موت ( السي آي أيه ) الأمريكية ؟
Muqtada Al-Sadr has pointed out that:
"the American forces had provided an air cover, with several drones circling the Sadr city, and then cutting off all wireless communication throughout Sadr city, just before the setting off of the six car explosions that resulted in the death of around 60 people and the injury of 200 others in Sadr city on Sunday."
Al-Sadr: The cars exploded under American air cover (In Arabic) March 13, 2006
ـ"وكان الصدر قد إتهم القوات الاميركية بتوفير غطاء جوي لتفجير ست مفخخات بمدينة الصدر في بغداد امس وهدد بالانسحاب من العملية السياسية، وقال ان القادة السياسيين منشغلون بتوزيع المناصب والشعب العراقي يذبح يوميا. وفي مؤتمر صحافي له بمنزله وسط مدينة النجف (160 كم جنوب بغداد) اليوم حمـّل الصدر، الذي يقود التيار الصدري وله 30 مقعدا في مجلس النواب الجديد، القوات الاميركية بتوفير غطاء جوي لتنفيذ ست مفخخات في مدينة الصدر معقله الشيعي من اجل زعزعة الاوضاع في المناطق الشيعية وقال ان طائرات التجسس الاميركية كانت تحلق في سماء مدينة الصدر وقطعت الاتصالات ثم جرت التفجيرات التي أدت الى مقتل حوالي 60 شخصا واصابة 200 اخرين."ـ
الصدر : مفخخات أمس بغطاء جوي أميركي
الإثنين 13 آذار، 2006
'President' Talabani, meanwhile (in the same item above), accused "Takfiris (aka Al-Qaida) and Saddamist terrorists" for the attack, not mentioning that Al-Mahdi Army is in total control of Al-Sadr city (on the ground but not over its air space), and would only allow known 'faces' to enter their city.
في حين إتهم الطالباني من جهته " الإرهابيين من تكفيريين وصداميين " بالقيام بتلك المجزرة مـُتغاضياً عن التنويه بأن جيش المهدي هو المـُسيطر على أمن مدينة الصدر ( على الأرض وليس على أجوائها )، وإنهم لا يسمحوا بالدخول إلى المدينة، وخاصة عقب الأحداث الأخيرة، سوى الأشخاص "المعروفة وجوههم" لهم.ـ
There is also a recent report that a police patrol in Basrah had captured, last Thursday (March 9, 2006) night, three persons in the act of planting a bomb near the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters in Basrah. Upon investigation, they found out that the three were British wearing Arabic garb in disguise. Immediately afterwards, the British army arrived and arrested the police patrol along with their captives. The British then released the British captives and detained the Iraqi policemen.
Basrah police capture three British wearing Arabic garb (In Arabic) March 12, 2006
فضيحة اخرى لفرق الموت الاميركية البريطانية
شرطة البصرة تعتقل 3 بريطانيين متنكرين بزي عربي لدى محاولتهم نسف مقر الحزب الاسلامي
الأحد 12 آذار، 2006
والعـِبرة لـِمن إعتـَبر ....ـ
Thursday, March 09, 2006
But what happened yesterday, (Thursday) afternoon, about 5:00 PM is beyond justification.
My uncle, the only living one from my mother’s side, is about 80 years old, a healthy, handsome and good looking gentleman. He was in his way to bring his wife home; she was in a visit to her parents, when he was shot by American soldiers, he was alone in his car, no eye witness, several bullets penetrate his car, three of them penetrate his body, he died immediately.
Iraqi police were there, they found his ID, and his mobile, with phone list, they called my cousin, a university Prof. who went to the postmortem unit at the main hospital to receive the body, the American officer there told him "we are sorry."
It is as simple as this, they are sorry and every thing is settled, no problems, as far as the victim is an Iraqi.
There is another similar accident when the American Soldiers shot a family consist of a man, his wife and his daughter and killed them all.(this happened this week at Alhadba district in Mosul)
At the funeral, I heard many similar stories, all of them contain the same subjects but different detailes, innocent Iraqi civilians were killed at the hands of American soldiers for no obvious reasons. Or just because a scared boy holding a gun and and hidding behind his Stryker is protected from the law, this what changed him from a human to a monster.
GO HOME AMERICANS, WE DON'T WANT YOU HERE
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Ziad Khalaf write an article about what happened in Samarra.
The truth is still a mystery. Iraq for all news published the "strange" statement of the Interior Minister explaining what happened.
The Interior Minister has issued a statement (In Arabic) stating that "the terrorist unit controlled the shrine on Tuesday night, February 21, 2006 at 7:55 p.m. (local time)" but that "the two bombs exploded on Wednesday morning, February 22 at 6:40 a.m." while stating that "the shrine is guarded by 35 police guards".
The Interior Minister statement (in Arabic)
وزير الداخلية يصدر بيانا حول تفجير ضريحي الامامين علي الهادي و الحسن العسكري في سامراء
و كالة الاخبار العراقية : : 2006-02-22 - 18:49:02
وزير الداخلية يصدر بيانا حول تفجير ضريحي الامامين علي الهادي و الحسن العسكري في سامراء
22 شباط فبراير /و.خ.ع/ بيان / داخلية :
اصدر وزير الداخلية بيانا بخصوص تفجير ضريحي الامامين علي الهادي و الحسن العسكري في سامراء فيما يلي نصه:
"في كل يوم يبرهن الطائفيون التكفيريين الإرهابيون ومن يقف وراءهم بأنهم أعداء الله والإنسانية فقد قامت مجموعة إرهابية مساء الثلاثاء 21/ شباط في الساعة السابعة وخمسين دقيقة أحدهم يرتدي ملابس عسكرية مرقطة وثلاث يرتدون بدلات سوداء وسيطروا على ضريح الإمامين علي الهادي والحسن العسكري عليهما السلام وقاموا بوضع عبوات ناسفة داخل الضريحين المقدسين.
وفي الساعة السادسة و40 دقيقة صباح هذا اليوم 22/ شباط تم تفجير العبوتين مما أدى إلى هدم القبة بشكل كامل وجزء من الجدار الشمالي للضريح وعلى الفور تحرك لواء المغاوير في سامراء إلى محل الحادث وتمت السيطرة على الموقف.
وتود وزارة الداخلية أن تبين أن قوة حماية الضريح تبلغ 35 عنصر من قوة حماية المنشآت
إننا في الوقت الذي نستنكر فيه مثل هذا العمل الجبان الذي استهدف مقدسات المسلمين في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها ندعوا الجميع إلى توخي الحذر في تصرفات هؤلاء الطائفيين التكفيريين الذين يحاولون الإساءة إلى العراقيين الشرفاء والنيل من الوحدة الوطنية وعلى الفور شكلنا لجنة تحقيقية للوقوف على مجريات الحادث وسيتم إشعاركم بالاجراءاتI personally feel very sorry for this criminal action, and condemned who planed and who executed this act.
Till now there are more than 160 mosques attacked and some set to fire by men in black, claimed they are belong to the Mehdi army ( armed militia under the controll of Moqtada Al Sader). Tens of dead bodies were found at different places near Baghdad.
Congratulation America you did what you are came for.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
It is a real story happened to me at the first day following the holiday of the Eid, as I was in my way home.
"A cowboy on his steel horse shot at me.
This Happened to Me
The four days of the Eid al-Adha holiday were calm and peaceful – no explosions, no roadside bombs, no clashes in the streets. But all that changed on Saturday, January 14th, the first day after the holiday.
I was driving home from my clinic around 5:15 p.m., the time I usually return home, because it's not safe to be out past sunset. I was 50 meters away from my house – which is located on a service road parallel to a main street. The street and the service road are separated by a curb two meters wide.
While I was driving slowly on the service road, an American patrol, which consisted of three armored-car Strykers, passed by on the main street, moving in the same direction as I was. When the first Stryker passed me, a soldier riding on top fired two shots in my direction. One bullet came in through the half-opened driver's window and hit the window of the opposite door, smashing it to pieces. Thank God, somehow it missed me.
I stopped the car and got out, thinking that the soldiers might stop and explain why they had shot at me. But they didn't. They kept on driving. There were no other people in the vicinity, except a neighbor at a shop nearby, who saw the whole thing. The next morning I went to replace the broken window. Nearly every person I met in the repair shop had a similar tale to tell.
I wonder now, if the shot had had killed me, how would the troops have explained it? Would I have become a terrorist killed while trying to explode himself near an American patrol? Or perhaps I would only be collateral damage, killed while soldiers chased a terrorist? Or maybe a terrorist had killed me, and the Americans chased him, though he managed to escape.
I will leave you to decide. In the chaos of this occupation, innocents are killed by all sides. But don’t we have the right to hate the people who are now occupying our country. Shall we celebrate the freedom and democracy brought to us by the occupation in spite of the perils our citizens face?
Questions need answers. Who will answer them?
Friday, February 03, 2006
By VOA News
03 February 2006
Angry Muslims are stepping up demonstrations against the publication of cartoons in European newspapers depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.
In Islamabad Friday, Pakistani lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution condemning the caricatures, saying they "hurt the faith and feeling of Muslims all over the world."
In Indonesia, at least 70 members of the Islamic Defenders' Front forced their way into the lobby of a building housing the Danish Embassy and threw eggs at the embassy's symbol. The group left without incident a short time later.
Protests are also reported Friday in several other regions, including the Palestinian territories, Iran and Malaysia.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has summoned foreign envoys to Copenhagen for a meeting to discuss the protests. The drawings of Mohammed originally appeared in a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September.
Protests ignited Wednesday after several European newspapers including papers in Spain, France and Germany reprinted the drawings in a show of solidarity for press freedom.
Danes Finally Apologize to Muslims (But for the Wrong Reasons)
By RACHARD ITANI
02 February 2006
In many European countries, there are laws that will land in jail any person who has the chutzpah to deny not only the historicity of the Jewish holocaust, but also the method by which Jews were put to death by the Nazis. In some of these countries, this prohibition goes as far as prosecuting those who would claim or attempt to prove that less than 6 million jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. In none of these countries are there similar laws that threaten people with loss of freedom and wealth for denying that large percentages of gypsies, gays, mentally retarded, and other miscellaneous "debris of humanity" were also eliminated by the Jew-slaughtering Nazis.
Quickly now: what defines a hypocrite? Answer: a person who follows the letter of the law, but not its spirit. The laws against anti-semitism are just that: laws against anti-semitism enacted by hypocritical Europeans with blood on their hands from the genocides in their recent and distant past, and much guilt to atone for in their hearts and minds.
The spirit of the law, which would extend this protection to Muslims as well, if not indeed other religious groups, is nowhere to be found in the Western legal code. You can curse the Prophet of the Muslims at will and with total impunity. However, approach the holocaust at your own risks and perils if you do not include in your discussion the standard, ritualistic incantations about the six million Jewish victims of the European Nazis. There is a word for this in the English language: hypocrisy.
I used to have a lot of respect for the Dutch, the Danes, and the Norwegians, and still do. However, I cannot claim that this respect is not more nuanced today. The coloring started when the Dutch, who are invariably and automatically described as being amongst the most "tolerant" people in the West, if not the world, proved that their tolerance was little more than skin deep. Their reaction to the murder of Theo Van Gogh was anything but driven by tolerance. They behaved as a mob in reaction to the criminal, despicable action of an extremist and murderer, by painting the whole Dutch muslim community with the same broad brush that Vincent Van Gogh would have eschewed. They burnt Muslim schools and mosques. They directed opprobrium at Muslims in their midst, calling on them "to go home" though many had been born in the Netherlands. No subtlety in the Dutch reaction. Just collective anti-semitism which they directed not at the Jews, but at the Jews' cousins, the Muslims.
Then the Danes, who must have felt left out, decided to go the Dutch one better: a Danish paper published cartoons that are no less offensive to Muslims than anti-semitism is to Jews. The cartoons were described by Danish politicians and the press as not provocation, but a principled case of free speech, although many Danish and Scandinavian newspaper editors are on record stating that they published the cartoons as an act of defiance against "radical Islam." This is akin to these ignorant morons recommending that the U.S. ought to nuke Tehran because that would teach Iranian President Ahmadinejad a lesson.
What free speech are we talking about here? The law says thou shalt not utilize or publish anti-semitic language or imagery. Consequently, Danish (and other European) papers will refrain from doing so, lest they fall foul of the law and offend Jewish sensitivities. The law does not say: thou shalt not offend muslims or use imagery that may be deeply offensive to them. So Danish papers will not refrain from doing so, in fact they will go out of their way to offend Muslims both in Denmark and around the world, in the name of "free speech." And the Norwegians? Well, they just decided to follow the Danes down perdition lane, all in the name of holy hypocrisy, so a Norwegian paper also published the offending cartoons. The statement about "confronting radical Islam" was in fact made by the Norwegian editor of a newspaper that is described as a "Norwegian Christian Paper." And now that other European papers and Magazines have also followed suit, if there was any doubt that this affair is one of anti-Muslim bias, it was swept away by the statements of the Editor in Chief of Die Welt, the German magazine, who declared that the right to publish the cartoons was "at the very core of our culture" and that Europeans cannot "stop using our journalistic right of freedom of expression within legal boundaries." It's the "legal boundaries" qualifier that gives the game away: there are no legal boundaries in Europe protecting Muslims from the same ignominies that the law protects Jews from.
And what further argument does Die Welt put forward to justify its "legal" action? " It pointed out that "Syrian TV had depicted Jewish rabbis as cannibals." You can imagine how helpful a similar argument would hold up in a court of law: "But your honor, I only killed one guy and raped two women: the other guy killed four and raped 10!" That a German editor-in-chief of a major German paper should use the "legal" argument to justify offending the religious sensitivities of Muslims, when that same "legal" framework would see him thrown in jail faster than he could spell the word legal if he offended the sensitivities of Jews, may be a testament at least of his own deep-seated contempt for Muslims. That so many European papers have now reprinted the offensive cartoons is an indication that the contempt for Muslims does not stop with the editor-in-chief of Die Welt.
This whole affair is nothing but an over-reaction to a simple cartoon, you say? Not if you remember a certain other cartoon that appeared in the British newspaper, The Independent, on 27 January 2003. It depicted Prime Minister Sharon of Israel eating the head of a Palestinian child while saying: "What's wrong? You've never seen a politician kissing babies before?" Jews in Britain and around the world erupted with indignation, arguably because the depiction reminded them of millennial charges levied against them by Christians who accused them of using the blood of babies in ritualistic killings. You see, Sharon can actually kill, maim and spill the real, actual blood of Palestinian babies: that is not offensive to Zionist Jews and their apologists in the West. But let Sharon be depicted in a cartoon metaphorically as the ogre that he has proved to be in his real life, symbolically eating a Palestinian child, and the world will erupt in offended indignation. A cartoon that is offensive to Muslims, on the other hand, is depicted as nothing but an expression of "free speech." There is a word for this in any language: hypocrisy.
Before the Danish cartoon incident started to evolve into a growing international crisis, the Danish Prime Minister and the publisher of the Danish newspaper that first published the offending cartoons both declared that they would never apologize on grounds of free speech and because publishing the cartoons had not broken any Danish laws. (Yes, the "no law broken" argument again.) Yesterday, however, they both ended up apologizing in the face of a growing tsunami of protests on the part of Arab and Muslim governments, some of whom withdrew their Ambassadors from Copenhagen. The Danish prime minister did not apologize because his moral compas suddenly found True North again. The real reason, of course, is that he understood, though a tad too late, the potential economic consequences of a widespread boycott of Danish goods on the part of one billion people. There is a word for this in the Danish language: realpolitik.
Muslims and other reasoning people around the world understand well that European laws against anti-Semitic speech, writing, and behavior, were enacted for two reasons. The stated reason was to protect the Jews from the continued onslaught of anti-Semitic attacks, both verbal and physical, which culminated historically in the repeated pogroms that Christian Europeans launched against Jews repeatedly through the centuries. (Historically, it was the Arabs who protected the Jews and took them in whenever they fled Christian barbarity, especially in the Middle Ages.) The real reason, of course, is to protect the Europeans from the pangs of their own conscience, which has very good reason to feel guilty indeed, given what Europeans did to Jews in the last millennium, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, not to mention what they did to the indiginous people of the Carribean and the Americas since the 1600s, and to the people of Asia, Africa and Oceania as well. I have long thought that it's European Christians, more so than Jews, who ought to observe Yom Kippur, or adopt a similar atonement observance of their own.
While the spirit of the law is that Europeans shalt not offend any ethnic or religious groups including Muslims, this seems to be lost only on the Europeans themselves, or at least the Danes, the Germans and their ilk amongst them, who only care about, or fear, the letter of the law. Why should we therefore be shocked when Muslims depict Europeans as nothing but a bunch of hypocrites? Why shouldn't Governments of Muslim countries recall their Ambassadors to Denmark in protest, as some did? The only disappointment is that no Western or non-Muslim government, the meek complaints to a French newspaper by the French Foreign Office excepted, had the moral and ethical courage to publicly, unequivocally and forcefully condemn an act that is as deeply offensive to Muslims as the desecration of a Torah scroll, or of a Jewish cemetery, is offensive to all civilized people in the world, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Animist, or Atheist.
There are two ways for Europeans to redeem themselves: the immediate temptation would be to call on their national parliaments to extend the protections of the laws against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denying to Islam and Muslims, as well as any other religious group . That would be the wrong recommendation however. The right recommendation would be to repeal the laws that govern holocaust denying and other laws that favor one group over another, so that the issue truly becomes one of free speech. And if Europeans are the civilized people they claim to be, then their politicians and newspaper publishers ought to find it easy to immediately apologize when they have unwittingly offended the taboos of any human community, be it religious or otherwise.
Muslims and Arabs have suffered enough hypocrisy on the hands of European Christians, just as Jews suffered in the past on the hands of these same Europeans, and as Palestinian Muslims and Christians alike are suffering today on the hands of Americans, Europeans and, of course, Zionist Jews, both Sephardim and Ashkenazi. If Europe thinks of itself as a civilized society, then it ought to do its utmost to redress the wrongs that too many people around the world have suffered as a result of European misbehavior and often outright criminal actions, most especially since the 1400s.
Muslims deserve nothing more nor less than for Christians in the U.S. and Europe, and Zionist Jews in Israel, to simply abide by the golden rule: treat others as you would have others treat you. So far, Christians and Zionist Jews have proven that they only abide by the alternative definition of this rule: "They who have the gold, make the rule." The gold in this case is a combination of economic and military might. Of this, Europeans, Zionist Jews and their American overlords have aplenty in reserve. Were it that they also had an equal reserve of un-hypocritical, civilized morality and ethical behavior to underpin their feelings of sanctimonious superiority.
And the other measure that Europeans can adopt to redeem themselves? The European people can start by throwing out of office, and initiating criminal proceedings against, any politician responsible for sending a single soldier to invade, occupy, and initiate pogroms against the people of Iraq: these politicians have been guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which makes them unfit for the honors that continued office holding bestows upon them. Europeans can also give the boot to any politician who has approved or turned a blind eye to a single rendition flight that sent any person to the torture chambers of the Americans or their surrogate torturers in some Arab or Muslim countries. These are the same countries whose religious sensitivities we should all respect as strongly as we respect Jewish sensitivities when it comes to the Jewish holocaust, not because the law says so, but because it's the right thing to do. These are also the same countries whose human rights trespasses Europeans ought to condemn as equally and vehemently as they should condemn the continued human rights abuses and state terrorism perpetrated by the Israeli government in Palestine/Israel, and by some European governments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other out-of-sight/out-of-mind places like Haiti, Africa, and elsewhere.
In other words, Europeans can start by applying the simple rule of one weight and one measure to both friends and foes, equally to themselves and to the rest of the world, because policy and politics, both domestic and foreign, ought to be based upon and subject to principled moral considerations, not expediency of the economic, financial or religious kind.
Is that such an unreasonable moral proposition to consider?
Rachard Itani can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I wish you all read it, and judge the US justice
If torture is standard, we're in for it
By Jim Spencer
Denver Post Staff Columnist
Every American should be forced to see the autopsy pictures of Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush now on display at the trial of Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr.
Welshofer is charged with murdering the Iraqi general during a November 2003 interrogation. But what's playing out in a Fort Carson courtroom is a nation's shame, not just an individual's.
The autopsy photos of Mowhoush make the now-infamous images from Abu Ghraib prison look like a costume party. Bruises and welts cover Mowhoush's dead body. Doctors ruled that Mowhoush was smothered. Officials charge that Welshofer stuffed him inside a sleeping bag, bound him with an electric cord, sat on his chest and covered his mouth. Still, there is no question that Mowhoush also was savagely beaten.
The United States, which sanctimoniously lectures the rest of the world about human rights, did this. America's political and military hierarchy approved harsher handling of military detainees after the 9/11 attacks. This is what we got.
The prosecution and defense in Welshofer's trial continue to argue about who bears responsibility. Capt. Elana Matt, a prosecutor, claimed Welshofer "abandoned the moral high ground" in his handling of Mowhoush. As testimony drones on, it looks increasingly like America's moral high ground has turned to quicksand.
Welshofer deserves punishment for killing Mowhoush. But the presidential administration and Army chain of command that lets military prisoners be stuffed in sleeping bags or wall lockers or held down to have water poured down their mouths and noses won't get their due. The "non-military" folks (read CIA) whom a witness said beat Mowhoush two days before he died have not even been charged.
Welshofer's company commander knew he was using the so-called "sleeping-bag technique."
Mowhoush probably was a "high-value facilitator of the insurgency in Western Iraq," to use the intelligence-speak of the chief prosecution witness, Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson Williams. But, as military judge Col. Mark Toole reminded everyone, "the victim is not on trial."
American principles are. Williams testified after prosecutors dropped his murder charge in Mowhoush's death. Testifying, as Williams did, under a grant of immunity, Sgt. Justin Lamb, the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment's chief interrogator, talked about "fear up" inquisitions. That's why he invented the sleeping-bag trick. Along with packing prisoners in wall lockers, he used it to induce claustrophobia.
You slip the end of a sleeping bag over the prisoner's head and tie the bag in place, Lamb explained. Then you roll the prisoner back and forth while asking questions.
And, allegedly, if you're Lewis Welshofer, when the prisoner doesn't give you what you want, you also sit on his chest and cover his mouth.
Prosecutors claimed this was not business as usual, that it was the cowboy misbehavior of a lone outlaw. Then their star witness, Williams, took the stand and described how the sleeping-bag technique was no more extreme than many other interrogation techniques he had witnessed. Williams also said he walked away from the eight to 10 "spooks" as they started to clobber Mowhoush with rubber hoses two days before the general died. Williams admitted to hearing screams after he left. He also said he saw "four to five men" carrying the general back to his "cage" afterward.
Similarly, when Welshofer invited Williams to be part of the eventually fatal interrogation of Mowhoush, Williams agreed, but said he had to get a cup of coffee first. Williams went for a second cup of Joe as Welshofer lowered the sleeping bag over Mowhoush's head.
It was, apparently, no big thing.
For as long as it isn't, this question about the humane treatment of military prisoners remains open for all Americans:
If the sleeping-bag technique was used against your soldiers, would you consider it wrong?
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
U N I T E D N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) - 1995-2005 ten years serving the humanitarian community
[These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
1 - IRAQ: Activists call for protection of academics
BAGHDAD, 15 January (IRIN) - A network of human rights activists and journalists has called for the protection of local academics and higher level educational institutions.
The appeal, launched this month by the Brussells Tribunal, a worldwide network devoted to campaigning against the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, notes the "systematic liquidation of the country's academics."
According to conservative estimates, over 250 educators have been assassinated while hundreds more have disappeared, the network's website states.
Thousands of other academics have reportedly fled the country, in the belief that they are being targeted because they are well educated.
The Brussells Tribunal further notes that the disappearance of trained educators has led not only to "a major brain-drain," but also to the decimation of the secular middle class.
"Anyone who has the ability to imagine a secular future for the country is forced to flee," said Hana al-Bayaty, a member of the network's executive committee.
The assassinations have targeted women and men countrywide, with little reference to political or religious affiliations.
"The most striking fact is that the majority of those killed where not scientists. but were involved in the field of humanities," the anti-war organisation notes, adding that, "the motives for these assassinations are unknown."
In April 2005, the United Nations University published a report noting that 84 percent of Iraq's higher education institutions had been burnt, looted or destroyed since the start of the US-led invasion in 2003.
It went on to point out that four dozen academics had been assassinated, while many more faced daily threats.
In addition to the destruction of vital infrastructure, only 40 percent of which is under reconstruction, other problems facing Iraqi higher learning included an isolated and under-qualified teaching staff; poorly equipped libraries and laboratories; and a fast-growing student population, said the UN report.
A third of the nation's teachers held only bachelors' degrees, despite official requirements of at least a Master's degree, it added.
"The devastation of the Iraqi system of higher education has been overlooked amid other cataclysmic results of the war, but it represents an important consequence of the conflict, economic sanctions and ongoing turmoil in Iraq," noted Jairam Reddy, the study's author and director of the Jordan-based International Leadership Institute.
"Repairing Iraq's system of higher education is in many ways a prerequisite to the long-term repair of the country as a whole," Reddy added.
Iraq's educational system was formerly recognised as being one of the best in the region.
In the meantime, the campaign is calling for an international investigation into the killings and urging academic institutions in other countries to forge links with Iraqi educators, both in exile and at home.
As "an occupying power, and under international humanitarian law, final responsibility for protecting Iraqi citizens, including academics, lies with the United States," the Brussells Tribunal concluded.
Al-Bayaty said the impact of the lack of protection for academics could be felt for two to three decades: "It's a developing country so they need the brains that can contribute to the development of their society," she said.